Route: Cathlapotle Trail of 8 Falls (Lewis River)

Submitted by runnerteri on Mon, 05/30/2022 - 10:59am
Washington, US
14.75 mi
Vertical Gain
1,470 ft

While Oregon has Silver Creek’s enormously popular Trail of 10 Falls, Washington’s version on the Lewis River is a quieter version if no less stunning. Featuring thundering block style waterfalls, a unique double rock arch waterfall and other gorgeous water features, the Lewis River Trail is a trailrunners dream. With old growth forest, buttery singletrack and for most of the trail, solitude, this route is open for most of the year. The waterfalls change appearance with water levels, making this a route that is fun to return to again and again.

You might assume that the Lewis River was named after Merriwether Lewis of Lewis & Clark fame, this glacially fed river (it emanates from Mt Adams or Pahto) is actually named after Adolphus Lee Lewis, named county surveyor in 1856. Yes, he did indeed name the river after himself. The Chinook people named this river Cathlapotle, so we choose to honor its ancestral name in the FKT title.

The official route for this FKT begins at the trailhead on Lewis River Rd near the Quartz Creek Trailhead (and not from the trail from the parking lot). The route follows the Lewis River Trail southwest, taking the riverside trail through the Lower Falls campground. Please note that the section from Upper Falls to the Lower Falls Campground can be quite busy with hikers. Please be respectful of others on the trail. The route crosses the Lewis River Rd at the Crab Creek Trailhead and from here until the end should see much less foot traffic. The trail continues southwest until it crosses the Pepper Creek Rd. Continue onto the Bridle Path past Curly Creek Falls and on to where the trail ends at the Miller Creek viewpoint. Total distance one way is 14.1 miles with 550 feet of elevation gain. Advance purchase parking permits are required at all trailheads except Curly Creek between June 15th and September 6th.